New Delhi : Bangalore-based Air Deccan, which kickstarted the low-cost no-frills trend in India, has taken delivery of its first new ATR 72-500 aircraft, at the ongoing Paris Air Show. This aircraft, delivered with a 72-seat configuration, is the first one of an order for 30 new ATR 72-500 aircraft signed in February, at Aero India in Bangalore (India).
Air Deccan has also confirmed the order announced in January for six second-hand ATR aircraft (three ATR 42-500 and three ATR 72-500), manufactured by the Toulouse-based regional aircraft manufacturer, Avions de Transport Régional (ATR).
Capt. GR Gopinath, managing director, Air Deccan, said, "This aircraft will help us to satisfy the increase in traffic and to carry on with our plan to connect all main Indian cities to the major metropolitan centres at a very low fare."
The airline started its operations with four second-hand ATR 42s in August 2003. The Air Deccan ATR fleet has now grown to 12 ATR 42 aircraft, to be expanded with the new delivered ATR 72-500, which will be used on feeder routes as they can access most of the airports unable to be operated by jets. The carrier currently operates 12 ATR 42s on its domestic network with links to cities such as Hubli, Belgaum, Hyderabad, Tirupati, Chennai, Derhadun, Jaipur, Goa, Vijayawada, Mangalore and Amritsar from Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi.
ATR currently holds a market share in India of 60 per cent in the 20 to 90-seat regional market and of the turboprop sector the market share is 73 per cent. In the Asia Pacific area, 104 ATRs are currently operated by 23 airlines.
ATR and Air Deccan have also finalised a general maintenance agreement for spare parts and maintenance services for the new fleet of thirty ATR 72-500 brand new aircraft. This 5-year contract is a complete maintenance and repair service agreement, worth $90 million.
Through this agreement, ATR will cover a wide spectrum of maintenance requirements for Air Deccan's new fleet, including complete spares inventories on site, a pool service for standard exchange of parts, repair of equipment and line replaceable units. Furthermore, ATR will handle the repair and overhaul of the engines, propellers and landing gears.